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your uncan, and it's -- country, and it's been a pleasure for me to be with you today. [applause] ..
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>> tell us what you think about programming this weekend. you can tweet us at booktv, comment on our facebook call or send us an e-mail at booktv, nonfiction books every weekend on c-span2. >> you are watching booktv. now william chafe examines how bill and hillary clinton's personal relationship has affected their political lives. mr chafe recover their turbulent marriage and describes the elite parter assisted in the other's career gains.
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it is about an hour. [applause] >> good evening, everybody. thank you all for being here. i am the director of the public library and it is a great pleasure to have you here and have william chafe here to talk about his excellent new book, reflective, raunchy and ripping. i want to write a book that gets that kind of press. i try to live a life like that. this book and tonight's topic will remind us we have a presidential campaign going on in which there is a human cry about what is truth and what is fact, what is fiction, what is a lie and it reminds us most of this is rhetorical exaggeration
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but there was a time in american history when there were really great liars. we are reminded of that tonight. remember barry goldwater talking about richard nixon? i can tell you what he said about richard nixon because this is a family library, family television. but there was a time when there were great liars and i want to quote from william chafe's book briefly, this is really a dual biography of hillary and bill, of the clintons as a family with a certain kind of character. so here on page 150, about the draft, bill clinton displayed his inability to come clean about personal issues that were at the core of his identity. sometimes the out right live. more often he shaded the truth. always he seemed to feel entitled to a constructive ands or recall experiences in ways that worked to his own benefit.
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i have to be at yale as an undergraduate when they were in law school together and one wonders about the attraction when one reads this second bit from page 256 which is about kenneth starr interviewing hillary clinton. i can tell you a story about kenneth starr who i had dinner with at precisely this time but i won't because it would go on too long. in the end kenneth starr determined he did not have enough evidence to indict hillary clinton. the examples of disingenuous statements, disclaimers and out right -- were abundant, something here regular, improper and perhaps illegal had taken place in arkansas with the first lady much more than her husband at the heart of it. you understand the attraction the clintons had for each other.
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[shouting] >> william chafe is one of the great historians of american liberalism. no comment about that. some restraint. and gender and racial equality in the history of the country. he has a ph.d. from columbia, the alice murray baldwin prof. of history at duke university, the author of a number of excellent books and i would like to end my introduction on more nonpartisan notes. i read one of his previous books which is a book that i really liked about a great liberal at his core, a great left liberal named howard lowenstein and william chafe wrote a book about him called never stopped running. he was one of the people responsible for the creation of a new left movement if you will in american politics but he was
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also a man who embraced larger ideas of american politics symbolized by the fact that at his funeral he was killed by a deranged mentally defective colleague of his at the age of 51 in his office but at his funeral, eulogies were made back-to-back by ted kennedy and bill buckley. that is a time in american politics, in american history that we could fondly remember after the last decade or two of complete partisanship and something william chafe has written eloquently about as he has written about the problems book "bill and hillary: the ladies and gentlemen, please welcome william chafe. [applause] >> thank you so much.
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i am thrilled and deeply grateful, i thought i would begin by telling you a little about my career and how i came to write this book. as has been indicated before i didn't start as a biographer. i started as a social historian, i wrote four books about the women's movement and books about the civil rights movement and the only toward the last ten years that i started to zero in on questions of what makes an individual try to change history. but i would argue this is a strong coherence in all of this because when you are writing about a social movement which i was writing about, the four sit in students who led the sit in movement and sat down in north carolina in 1960, dealing with what happened to those four
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people. how they put their lives on the line. when they did that, within nine weeks in 54 cities, nine different states, a new phase of the civil-rights revolution happened because four decided to make history. that got me really interested. i did write a biography -- it helps to highlight what makes someone come to the point of acting decisively to intervene in historical moments and change things. and so over time i have come to value the idea of the personal and political coming together, i wrote a book called private lives public consequences, it
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ended with an essay on bill and hillary clinton. the more i looked at the clintons the more i became aware how incredibly important their personal chemistry was not only in their lives together but shaping the history of the last quarter of the 20th century and that is what i want to talk about tonight because at the heart of their relationship is the way in which they function together, the way in which their chemistry interacted with each other in order to create a partnership that ultimately led them to make critical period of being in charge of our country. where did all begins? elegance with their childhoods of course and one of the things we have to recognize is in the case of bill clinton we are talking about one of the most dysfunctional that could never exist. bill's mother virginia was an
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amazing woman. she writes that every morning she spent 90 minutes putting makeup on. why was she doing that? she tells you she was doing that to hide who she really was. she really did not want to come to grips with who she was. she had a difficult relationship with her mother. she loved her father as did bill, very difficult grandfather. and virginia is an interesting person not willing to confront the realities of her life so she went off to school and met a man named bill blood who told her he was a salesman. they fall in love and married two months later and he went to italy. he had always been in the army. she didn't know until 40 years later that he had been married three times, had children with other wives and was still
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married when he married her. when he came back from italy he was killed driving back from chicago toward arkansas to see virginia. bill has not been born. it is very tragic. virginia went back to school leaving bill to be raised by his grandmother and grandfather for the first two years and then she fell in love with another person named roger clinton. roger clinton, she also did not know, had been married four times and had been accused in one of the divorce cases against him of physical abuse of his spouse. they both liked to drink, they both liked to party. but soon it became clear that this was a family where alcoholism and abuse were normative. they were part of daily life. bill is phrased in that family
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and bill becomes the instrument of saying that family. he frequently comes up on his stepfather roger for beating his mother and he save her from those beings and promises he will never let that happen again. for one of the things you learn when you read of children of alcoholics is people in that kind of family dynamic is a childlike chill clinton begins to feel like he has the responsibility of bringing healing to the family, redeeming it, creating honor where there is this honor. he basically sets out to be the person who rescues the family. he is an incredible student, at the front of his class, becomes very active in boy's nation which is the junior american league, nominated to go to washington as the nation's candidate for u.s. senate, goes to washington, already six feet
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tall, at the front of the line when they go to the white house and kennedy finishes his speech, bill clinton looks forward and gets his picture taken a long side of john f. kennedy. he is so proud and he already is dedicated to the idea that he is going to be the person who is going to bring complete honor to the family. by the age of 17 he is planning to be elected attorney general of arkansas and governor of arkansas and president of the united states. this is something which everyone who knows him knows about. he talks about it all the time. he does not go to the university of arkansas. egos to georgetown. from georgetown he becomes the arkansas candidate for rhodes scholarship and goes to oxford. he is an incredible success everywhere but he cannot have a sustained ongoing relationship with a woman. he is attracted to the kind of women his mother direct him to who are the beauty queens, the
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ones who are flirtatious, who are attractive and that is where his i has been. until he goes back to yale law school. there he meets hillary rodham. hillary writes in her own memoir, as if her child were idyllic. but it wasn't. her mother dorothy was an amazing human being, her mother was born to a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old. they were in los angeles and when she was 8 years old her parents put her and her 3-year-old brother on a train by themselves to go back from los angeles to chicago. she continues to be mistreated by her grandparents until she was able to get off on her own and went to work as secretary in a factory. the owner of that factory was
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hugh rodham and he married dorothy. he was roughed, strong, didn't communicate very well. he frequently had dishes arguments with his wife and when she spoke disparagingly and visibly to her he was not that nice to his own children. one example is a child left the top of of a toothpaste jar of the toothpaste tube in the bathroom, he would take that toothpaste pop and throw it out into the snow and make the child go and find it. this is not someone who you really felt warmly toward. basically 40 was a person, hillary's mother who sustained her in three ways. was deeply christian, she was a very active methodist, she wanted hillary to go to the methodist youth scholarship and
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she met a wonderful young pastor named don jones. he was the one who helped introduce her to the issue of social conscience, morality of justice, fighting for civil rights and things like that. dorsey also helped hillary to stand up to people. if they were intimidating. and she made hillary a very proud young woman but she also conveyed a pivotal lesson and that wilson was there is nothing in the world more important than saving your family. you must hold on to your family, protect your children and never consider the issue of divorce. this is a reflection of her own experience but she is conveying that message to hillary and telling her never give up. never give up on your family. when bill and hillary are at
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yale, she is there before he is, back to oxford and goes to yale, kind of troubled. i am not sure how much you know about yale law school but it is not at all infrequent that students are doing other things, very exciting, political campaigns, so collectivism. bill didn't go to class the first three month at yale law school but he was active in politics. of the redid go to class. very close -- children defense fund and very committed to a series of social issues. usa leader during her time at wellesley and yale, a leader who was a reformer, who was an activist, who never stopped listening to the people around her and tried to build a bridges to people and never alienated the people in power like the president or the dean of yale
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law school. the story of how they match is they kept staring at each other across the room and one day have amigos' up to him in the library and says if we're going to keep looking at each other in this way don't you think we should introduce ourselves to each other and find out to each other is? that is the one most commonly told the with the other one i like better is really about the fact that bill was attracted to this young woman who was so totally different from his mother, she never wore makeup, head coca-cola eyeglasses, she never wore smart clothes and she was basically a nerd and a good bird. the other story is he wanted to meet her, followed her to registration even though he already registered and they went to see -- they talked for a long time. and the next day when bill called she said she was sick and
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bill made chicken soup and brought it to her. i like that story. in some ways it is a wonderful story. shortly thereafter they were in love with each other. they fought viciously all the time but they also made up and they were very kind to each other and they were very different from each other and this is the key. these were personalities that were incredibly different from each other, but complementary. bill was the emotional one. she couldn't stop making friends, reaching out to people coming invoking all kinds of emotional ties. hillary was a hard-nosed, structured, disciplined, focused. make the point. when they argued in court before a yale judge he was always making emotional arguments and
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she was making hard-nosed legal arguments and basically they were acting out this complementarity, he being feminine and she being more classically masculine. because they fell in love and lived together bill proposed. never thought he would but he proposed that and they were in england after graduation and basically hillary said i am not sure i am ready for this. why was she not ready for this? in 1972 they had both gone to work for the george mcgovern campaign, bill in austin and children in san antonio. she was brilliant. she was working with a wonderful person named betsy wright became a lifelong supporter of hers and that the right said hilary, you're going to be the first woman president.
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you are still bright. you are a feminist, you believe in what you believe in and you have all the talent to become the first woman president. and hillary had those aspirations. she really did but then there was bill. bill had his charisma, incredible political outreach, ability to speak to large audience claps and mobilize people. hillary sort of torn. what does she do? how does she do it? she is very aware that bill is not someone who is going to give up his philandering. chinos about that philandering. when he ran for congress in 1974 when she was working in washington, she knows that bill had been having a number of relationships the she sets her father and brother to the campaign to watch him. the campaign is such that when the rodhams coming with the college girl in order that they don't have any type with each
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other, the college girl leaves the campaign and marry someone else. she is very aware of the fact that this is an ongoing pension of bill clinton's. she moved to arkansas, she basically finally makes a decision that it is worth the gamble. they're in love with each other, they complement each other, they each have skills that the other does not have, and as long as they can work together, it is more likely that as partners they can achieve their goal of transforming the country than if each one were to take their own individual qualities and pursue the montero and. it is an interesting wedding. he buys her a wedding dress the night before the wedding at a department store. they do not go on not honeymoon but they are a together couple. it is out of that context he is
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elected attorney general and as governor of arkansas, the youngest governor elected in the country. it is a fascinating period of time. one of the things that is most interesting is if you look at the first two years of the clinton gubernatorial term and arkansas it is almost a replica of the first two years of the clinton administration. ills total chaos. there is no organization, the chief of staff, no structure. ten things at once, not one thing in particular. it is not role recognized. two people who were best friends, bill mostly to other people and they fight all the time. there's conflict. bill get into big trouble because he ends up supporting a tax bill in order to get more money to fix the roads and put the heavier tax on weighty vehicles than lighter ones which means working people with older cars are paying most of the
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money. totally unpopular. at the same time a whole slew of cuban refugees coming from have an and president carter relocate most of them in arkansas. this is not popular. even though bill clinton has won the governorship in 78 he goes down to a crushing defeat in 1980 and he is dismayed, despondent, suffering incredible depression. and hillary steps in and rescue him. she says bill, we will organize a reelection campaign. we will create a new structure. dick morris is the political guru from new york who worked in politics for a while. dick morris pulled out every question that could be asked and got all the right answers how to appeal to the people in arkansas and hillary took a campaign together in such a way it was a
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streamlined effort that was very successful. that got 58% of the vote in 1982. at that moment in time they are partners and exchange for all she has done for him, she becomes the most important single person in the administration. he puts her in charge of the education task force because he says in words that are almost exactly the ones he used ten years later when he put her in charge of the health-care task force of one the most important form of my administration to be handled by the person who is closest to me in my life and that is hillary. hillary does a stunning job. she has hearings, but together a coalition, that coalition is successful, succeed in passing legislation that is needed which essentially is designed to bring arkansas from 49th in the country to the head of the position, bill becomes a leading governor and he is thinking of running for president in 1988.
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he is going to run for president in 1988. he makes the announcement for that candidacy and called a press conference and bringing all of his friends in and two things happen. betsy wright who is now his chief of staff will was the chief of staff says to him bill, nor philandering is going to be an issue in this campaign. cialis of 30 to 40 women he had been with. she went to see bill clinton and talk to him candidly about this and he was talking candidly to her and she came out of that meeting saying you told me about another ten women i didn't know about. and you have to be ready to deal with it if you are going to run for office. and that night, chelsea comes, she is 8 years old and says what are we going to do on vacation
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next summer? he says we will probably not take a vacation because i'm going to run for the presidency. she says then we will go on with mom and have a great time. bill starts to think and realized i am about to lose my relationship with my 8-year-old daughter. this is probably not the right time to do this. he is not going to run for presidency. he will devote more time to his family. one of the things that is going on here is we are talking about a roller-coaster. someone who succeeds big time and plummets and succeeds big-time and plummets and succeeds big-time and plummets and succeeds bedtime and plummets and succeed again. we are not sure about the pledge. after that announcement he is not going to run for president bill does acute depression like 1980.
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for the first time in his life he develops a long-term love relationship with another woman. he is so in love with her that he asks hillary for a divorce. 2-1/2 year relationship. hillary says no. i am not going to do it. almost as though she is hearing her mother's boys. i am not going to do it. i want to stay together. i want to go to marriage counseling and they do. a year-and-a-half later he is ready to recommit to the relationship. he always said he loved both women. in that period of time, the beginning of 1991 at no time have they been more together as a couple with a common purpose, a common goal and the way to proceed to get it so they are working together for him to
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become a candidate for the presidency of the united states. but they also know that that problem is out there and hillary is always proactive, pre-emptive. she knows it is going to come. he is not going to attack bill because it is there. she is going to try to help the move through to come out of that okay and in summer of 1991, godfrey sperling, a regular meeting with politically important people. they raise the issue of the rumors of bill's philandering and hillary says we want you to know we had troubles in our lives, we love each other, we believe in each other.
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i love my husband and we are going to stay together the rest of our lives. what we don't know is this is a dress rehearsal. when bill is soaring in the polls, in the hampshire primary, the next door, at that very moment, jennifer flowers says she has had a 12 year love affair with bill clinton and has the tape recording to prove it. hillary steps in immediately and take over. and in the sperling breakfast, on 60 minutes, after the superbowl, the largest tv viewing audience you can imagine and they are magnificent and hillary is the one who says i love this man, we have had a
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good marriage. there have been problems but we are going to stay together because we believe in each other and we believe in our common goal. she literally rescues that presidential candidacy. at that moment in time his poll numbers had plummeted because of the flowers charges. now they come back up and during that period of time he is talking about hillary as his coat president. two for the price of one. in other words her rescue of him, increasing her leverage, her ability to make a huge difference, that is the context in which they enter the white house. there are a series of issues with them taking place, largely assumption of the new relationship that has existed where in fact hillary is acting the role of co-president. she insists on having an office in the west wing alongside al
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gore and bill clinton. all three will sign off on most decisions. she insists on not having a strong chief of staff. strong chief of staff would be a threat to the power that she is assuming. shea announces she will become -- she does not announce but bill announceds she is going to become the chair of the task force, the most important initiative of the administration. basically suppresses the instinct of a variety of people in the white house who say we should do welfare reform first because it will win over a bunch of conservatives and that gives us credibility to go forward. she says no. health-care reform first. she goes and visits a few democratic senators and says we will do all by ourselves. we won't compromise. we will get 100% of what we want and demonize the republicans who
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oppose us like bill bradley and patrick moynihan. how can you talk this way? we have to work with these people but she insists we will have 100%, not 95%. people like john chaffee, senator, republican from rhode island and other people who were willing to go, no. we are going to go all the way. she says we're going to bar the press corps from entering the white house. where the press secretary is. via travelgate staff, the white house travel staff. these are people taking care of reporters. you don't want to alienate those reporters. when it becomes a huge scandal she instructs them to hide any indication she is going to be involved in all of this. for the most important thing she does, when clinton who knows he is in trouble brings on david
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gergen who served three presidents all republicans, major figure of u.s. news and world report or pivotal figure in washington politics. clinton brings him on to build a bridges in the washington community establishment. and he negotiate a deal with the washington post. the deal is the clintons will make available to the post all of the paper the round whitewater including those for the road law firm. if they find nothing criminal in those papers, they will promise to defend the integrity of the clintons and wipe away the scandal. bill clinton says that is a good idea. george stephanopoulos says that is a good idea. most political peoples and the white house say that is a good idea but bill says you need to ask hillary. hillary says no. those are my papers. i can throw them in the potomac river 5 one 2. i will not make those available.
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that is december of 1993. the consequences are in measurable. immediately washington post and new york times organize huge campaigns of investigation, what happened in whitewater. there's more coverage of whitewater in the next six months, times as much as health-care. at the same time demand grows for appointment of a special prosecutor and clinton cannot resist it. he announces there will be a special prosecutor to look into whitewater and the special prosecutor becomes kenneth starr. kenneth starr goes after hillary primarily but he can't get her because she's very effective and he thinks he can indict her but he can't. but he persists in the effort to do so and that leads alternately to monica lewinsky and
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impeachment. that one decision not to bring those papers to the washington post sets in motion a sequence that ultimately leads to the low -- demonic a lewinsky scandal being so public and the impeachment. after the first eighteen months it is clear that health care is not going to go anywhere. nevertheless hillary insists in 1994 the state of the union message, bill clinton say i will veto anything less than 100% of what we are asking for. everyone thinks that is crazy. in the end healthcare goes down. the 1994 election happens, clinton is devastated. the 81 congressional seats lost, everything kind of begins to fall apart. hillary is writing a book take the village, much more involved
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in an advocate for women and children around the world, becomes more spiritual inner activity. bill takes the advice of dick morris when hillary is called to the white house and proceed with a whole series of reforms, change your tv set so your children don't watch pornography. police on the ground, tax cuts for children, for parents of kids in college and then comes oklahoma city. bill is brilliant. he once again rises to the top. he is a preacher healing the country. she is magnificent in bringing people together. on the other side is newt gingrich and his contract with america and determination to take bill clinton down as a total failure. they shut down the government twice and every time they do that clinton goes up in popularity and he has this
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extraordinary victory in 1996 which is stunning. what a come back. the third come back yet. 1982 in arkansas after the flowers episode and now with the reelection in 1996. he is at the peak, another one of these crescendos and this roller-coaster. when you are there you have to think what is going on down the road. during the same period, bill clinton is carrying on a 16 month affair with monica lewinsky, the white house intern. it is crazy, it is stupid, it is insane. new year's eve, easter sunday, 16 months, and when monica lewinsky moves out of the white house because enough people are concerned about how often she is around a president's office, she makes a new best friend in when
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the trip and win the trip tape records every conversationlinda records every conversation and has evolved alma. our contact with a bunch of white and -- right-wing people, bill clinton is asked to testify and asked the question did you ever have sex with a woman named monica lewinsky and he says no, i never did. clinton's claims that he was telling the truth because from his point of view sex is intercourse but regardless, the scandal breaks. bill tells hilary is breaking and says i did not have sex with her. seeking to me and was troubled and i took care of her and did what i could to help her. and hillary stands by him 100%. she doesn't believe it. given the surveillance and the white house she doesn't think it
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is possible and believes the marital therapy they have done in 90-91 was sufficient to restore the relationship. bill is insecure at that point. the first thing bill clinton does after the lewinsky charges are mated asks dick morris to do a poll on whether the american people will accept infidelity in the president. dick morris reports back to him and says they will accept infidelity but not perjury, lying under oath so bill says you will all recall the first time he is confronted with this question by jim lehrer and the evening news and is asked about demonic yavlinsky scandal and says there is no sexual relationship. he is vacillating and uses the present tense verbal. everyone gets worried at that point and hillary steps in and
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goes on the today show and says this is part of a vast right-wing conspiracy which it is that it is a lot more than that. basically puts him in a position about right denial and for six months he is successful and he basically bides time and the american people become more comfortable with the idea of a president who may have done this. finally he has to testify before a federal grand jury and admits and inappropriate relationship hillary has to make the final decision as to whether to rescue him again. this time he has told her yes, i did have a relationship with monocle wednesday. was a terrible thing i did. he asks her forgiveness and for the last time she says i will stand by you. i will stick by you. i will not abandon you.
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that is pivotal because this is a moment in time when a number of senators, democrat and republican reconsidering saying to the president you should resign like they did richard nixon in 1974. hillary is standing beside him essentially rescuing him. also rescued her. she liberated herself. this is the last time she will have to do this. she can now think about her own career. at the same time she is standing by bill clinton, she is talking to the people of new york state who want her to run for new york's the net--senate. on the day of the impeachment vote in the u.s. senate as the senate has voted she is having an hour meeting with her campaign team about the new york campaign. in many respects she goes back and become the person she was as
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a student at yale. a centrist. consensus person building a bridges and listening to people and finding out what they want to have happen. she becomes an incredibly successful united states senator. t-bills bridges. her best friends, john mccain and lindsey graham. they are in a very different place. bill manages to come back. he always was an effective economic president. he almost redeems himself by bringing peace to the middle east. she is doing incredibly important work in new york but her life is -- she becomes in a sense an independent person one more time. they are still in love but now she is the person in charge and her career is at stake.
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we have never had this kind of story in the american white house. we have never had this kind of personal chemistry, personal chemistry which both incredibly and riches our understanding of what took place during those years and also leaves us with an abundance of unanswered questions. now is your turn to ask the questions and i will try to answer. [applause] >> if you have a question for professor chafe please come to the microphone and asked it as a question, no statements of opposition unless it is my introduction which is appropriate. >> i can see very many hands. people will be walking up to the
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microphone. not that i want 400 questions -- >> in your opinion do you think hillary clinton will run for president? >> yes i do. [applause] >> i think you didn't ask -- in 2008 a campaign that was not very well run, up by mark penn who was dick morris and at number one associate and i think bill lost control during that campaign and said some things that were harmful to her candidacy and that will never happen again. she is now showing a measure of
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police and skiise and skill tha deeply impressive and one of the things that happened in that >> he solidified his reputation as having been an extraordinary president, not the most successful but extraordinary and also paved the way for hillary's candidacy in 2016. >> when hillary does run in 2016 how will she managed bill and what kind of role do you think he will have? [laughter] >> they have lived apart for most of the time ever since she went to the u.s. senate. they talk on the phone and great deal.
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they are still close. but they are not going to live together. she will stay in washington and he will stay in new york. my bet will be she is going to run her campaign and if she is elected i will be very surprised if he moves full-scale into the white house. he will live part-time in the white house and part-time in new york. he thinks he is going to die young. whether he thinks he will survive i am not sure. >> do you see a comparison between the hillary clinton marriage and fdr and a lamar. >> no. do i see any comparison between the hillary bill marriage and the fdr eleanor marriage? the reason i say no is yes, franklin and eleanor were very much political colleagues. starting in 1922 when fdr contracted polio she was his
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political surrogates who represented him on numerous occasions, she headed the women's democrat national committee. she was instrumental in many of the reforms of the new deal. but franklin had an affair with hillary's private assistant during world war i and when she found out about that she wanted a divorce. that was the end of their marital relationship. their political relationship remains intact but they never became intimate people again. they carved out distinctive roles and important roles, extraordinary first lady but it was not something which was a product of their personal chemistry and their ongoing intimate relationship. >> if hillary is a bridge builder, what happened with the health care and what would she
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have done differently if she were to do it today? >> she would have made a compromise with john chaffee and got the bill passed. why did all that happen? it happened because in arkansas and in washington she thought and bill fought that they were at war. they were at war with the washington establishment. washington reportedly tested both of them. bill clinton frequently lied to the press. they didn't like him at all and she didn't like the press at all which is why she did the thing with the white house press corps and travelgate and stuff. her position at that point was it she gave up anything she might give up everything. she held on to things to get into this -- polarized kind of attitude which was clearly a vast right wing conspiracy
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argument. she lost what she had in college and in law school which was this sense that her role was never to alienate someone but always stay in touch. that was the function of how fearful she was that she would lose grasp of power that she succeeded in gaining and therefore had to fight it all away to have it her own way. >> what is your comment on the relationship between president clinton and president obama and how the role works? >> none of us knows full be what the relationship is accept bill clinton made a very conscious decision that it was to his self-interest and the interest of the democratic party and barack obama and his wife that he become instrumental in making
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the case for obama's reelection that obama could not make himself. no one is better at mastering the arithmetic as he called of these complicated questions. the number of things on the table at the democratic convention and talk us through were incredible. he just has that ability. probably the high point of his political life. they are very different people. probably the two smartest people who were of president of the united states but bill clinton was someone who could never make up his mind. he would make a decision and then reverse it. you was up at 3:00 in the morning debating these things. barack obama -- he gets all the opinions and here's the mouth and he has a sense of his time frame to make a decision and then he makes a decision. they are very different in style. that is why the bill clinton
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white house is frequently chaotic and whatever else you want to say about the barack obama white house is not chaotic. >> to your response, if she is a bridgebuilder, bridgebuilders do better behind-the-scenes than in the front. how does that jibe with a president who is not necessarily a bridge builder but needs to be a leader? is she a more capable leader or more capable bridge builder? >> i don't think we know the answer to that question but i would say if you look at different models of the presidency, fdr began being a consensus kind of president who tried to create a bipartisanship in 1934-35, people had become very partisan in their political response and he himself became partisan denouncing the economic loyalists in his campaign saying i see 1-third of the nation --
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go to linda munson. lyndon johnson was probably the most effective legislator ever to live in the white house. how did johnson do that? by manipulating people and twisting arms. how did lyndon johnson get civil-rights back in 54 past? he had scotch with every single night and they talked through it all and ended up, republicans voted for cloture. it happened. i don't think hillary clinton will drink scotch every night but she will try to work with people like lindsey graham. hand basically try to create these types of coalitions. i think obama fa he had that with john boehner and it blew up in his face. hillary would have handled that
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differently. >> several characters. susan mcdougal, james carville, what led to the suicide of vincent foster? >> how much time do we have? first of all jim mcdougal is a weird person. he has a lot of psychological abnormalities. he is very manipulative. when he proposed the whitewater deal, they were not interested at all but hillary thought was a great idea. basically her decision. jim mcdougal kind of sick. susan mcdougal, his wife, was an incredibly suffering person who never betrayed her confidence and trust in the clintons. she was treated scandalously by
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kenneth starr who had her medical. she was in solitary confinement. it was horrible way in which he treated her. james carville didn't understand and talk about james carville, probably won and academy award. i am not that person. [talking over each other] >> that is the most tragic events one can conceive of. vincent foster and hillary clinton were best friends in the rose law firm. they had lunch every day. they protected her when the law firm was taking too much time on politics and not enough on the law firm. when she threw a birthday party and a belly dancer to perform
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they were so close it was incredible. when he went to the white house relationship changed and he became someone she gave orders to. she gave orders to handle travelgate and suppress evidence of her involvement. she also could have been charged in the whitewater papers. his comment was this was a can of worms and was a can of worms. their relationship basically lost its fiber. there is one incredibly tragic story. he was very depressed. he went to a psychiatrist to get some anti-depressants but they had not kicked in. a week before he killed himself, hubbell and foster and hillary
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were at a swearing-in ceremony and hillary said hey, guys, let's have dinner this weekend, let's have like old times. they said terrific, let's do it. plans were made to meet saturday night to have drinks, they go to an italian restaurant. foster and hubbell were there together. phone call comes from the white house and hillary says we can't make it. we have a crisis. someone in bill's family just appeared on the landscape. we will see you at the restaurant. they go to the restaurant. another phone call comes. we can't make it to dinner. we have to stay here. at which point vincent foster turns his chair away from the table and stares out the window and says not another word during the entire dinner. seven days later he killed himself. the night before he killed himself bill clinton, worried about him ask him to come to the
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white house to see a movie together. vincent foster says no, i am watching a movie here at home. the movie he was watching at a final scene in which the person put a gun in his mouth and shot himself. that is what vincent foster does the next day. pure tragedy. >> why was it chelsea's nanny, quote, discovered the missing billing records of whitewater? >> there's a direct connection between when those records were, quote, discovered and affect the two days earlier and memorandum was published by one of the people who would handle the entire whitewater affair for the
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white house. this was all getting very dirty, very public and was going to happen fast and i think that person decided it was better to come clean and reveal those records were there than to continue to say they had been lost. >> the clintons to remarkable job keeping chelsea out of the limelight as have you. where does she fit in? >> i think she was incredibly important to both of them and hillary was acting on her belief that her mother taught her nothing is more important than the family. and bill was devoted to her. i think they were successful in being able to keep her childhood as private as possible. when the monarch
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